Geneva International Motor Show 2018

The 88th edition of the Geneva International Motor Show opened its doors to the general public on March 8, 2018. Although still dominated by strong petrol engines, which tend to bring in the greatest profits for manufacturers, the show is enjoying more and more eco-friendly solutions to transport.

SwissEnergy, who are running a Co2auplancher project, are using the event to present the new version of their Salon Car Collector app. This now gives visitors the chance to win a Ford Mondeo Hybrid by simply photographing and ‘collecting’ energy-efficient vehicles. By law, all new cars sold in Switzerland as of 2023 must meet the CO2 emissions standard of 95g/km.

There is still some work to be done, according to Maurice Turrettini, President of the event. He urges both politicians and manufacturers to make the purchase of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles more attractive to customers. The selection of cars must increase, as must the amount of charging stations in Switzerland. Even Bernie Ecclestone, former chief executive of the Formula One Group, shares his optimism for electric vehicles, “as long as they perform as well as Tesla” and increase their range. However, he sees no future for them in Formula One racing.

Turrettini is right about work to be done in the Swiss market. According to Auto-Umweltliste, only 3% of new cars sold in 2017 were electric. The goal set by Auto-Schweiz is to have 10% by 2020. The Swiss car fleet is also among the most CO2 producing in Europe, with an average of 134g/km, and the rate of 4×4 vehicles sold in 2017 compared to 2010 has almost doubled (source: Auto-Umweltliste). Since bigger cars are heavier, they require more fuel.

A number of world premieres featured in Geneva are in the electric and hybrid category, of which some highlights are listed below. The Motor Show remains open to the public until March 18.

Electric cars


JAGUAR – I-PACE “First Edition”
The Jaguar I-PACE is the first all-electric production vehicle from the Jaguar brand. Clean, smart and offering a wealth of driver assistance features, the Jaguar I-PACE delivers sports car performance, artificial intelligence enabled technologies and five-seat SUV practicality.

With a 432 pouch cell, 90kWh, lithium-ion battery pack, the I-PACE delivers an estimated range of 480km. Owners will be able to achieve a 0-80 percent battery charge in around 40 minutes using publicly available 100kW DC rapid charging facilities. Home charging with a 230V/32A AC wall box (7kW) will achieve the same state of charge (0-80 percent) in just over ten hours – ideal for overnight charging. The high torque density and high-energy efficiency characteristics of the motors combine to deliver sports car performance, launching the I-PACE from a standing start to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds

HYUNDAI – KONA Electric

The All-New Kona Electric is the next SUV in Hyundai Motor’s product line-up which links up with the new SUV family appearance while adding the progressive character to the subcompact SUV segment.

The car offers pure e-mobility with two different powertrains. The long-range version with the 64 kWh battery provides an electric range of 482 km and an energy consumption of 14.3 kWh/100 km (under WLTP regulations). The electric motor delivers an output of 150 kW, accelerating the All-New Kona Electric to 100 km/h in impressive 7.6 seconds.

With a battery capacity of 39.2 kWh, the basic version drives you 312 km on a single charge with the motor delivering 100 kW and an energy consumption as low as 13.9 kWh/100 km (under WLTP regulations). Both powertrain versions deliver 395 Nm of immediate torque, offering the driver of Kona Electric great fun-to-drive, having the full power available from the first second, providing a maximum speed of 167 km/h for the long-range battery, and 155 km/h for the short-range battery.

E’MOBILE – eRod offroad – KYBURZ
The KYBURZ eRod offroad offers passionate drivers and motorists lots of emission-free curve-craving fun, both on and off road. The large, bulky off-road tyres and long spring travel guarantees optimum traction and sufficient ground clearance. These features enable the contemporary rebirth of a dune buggy to rummage through (almost) any terrain – without losing any of the rear-wheel drive open-air driving pleasure.

Weighing in at 650kg (including the 19.2kWh, 96V/200Ah battery), the offroader boasts a performance of 45kW/140Nm, a range of 130km, and a top speed of 90km/h.

ICONA – Nucleus
The Italian design company Icona unveiled the autonomous driving concept vehicle Nucleus. With its fully autonomous driving level five, a lounge-like interior and electric powertrain, the Icona Nucleus embodies Icona’s vision for the future of mobility.

Technology should be felt but not seen and so a “less is more approach” has been used, resulting in a fluid and sculptural body that combines the needs of both aerodynamics and ergonomics.

This electric all-wheel drive, 600hp, concept luxury lounge car includes a hydrogen range extender (5.3kg capacity at 700ps), giving it a combined range of 1200km. It accelerates from 0-100km/h in a mere 3.5 seconds.

E’MOBILE – Microlino
Inspired by bubble cars from the 50ies like the ISO Isetta and Heinkel Trojan, the Microlino combines the advantages of a motorbike with those of a car. It was designed to be the ideal vehicle for daily distances, like commuting to work or shopping.

The Microlino has two seats, a kerb weight of 450 kg, a range of 120 or 215 kilometres (bigger battery) and a maximum speed of 90 km/h, which is more than enough for an urban environment. With just 2.4 meters length, the Microlino is ideal for cross-parking, the front-entrance enables getting out directly on the sidewalk. The selling price is around 12’000 Euros, less than a car, but a bit more than a motorbike. The Microlino can be recharged at any conventional domestic power socket in four hours, with a Type 2 connector in just one hour.

VOLKSWAGEN – I.D. VIZZION
The full electric sedan will be the future top model of the I.D. family and will reach the roads by 2022 at the latest. In addition, it is prepared for fully autonomous driving. It also has artificial intelligence and recognizes passengers through biometrics. By 2025, Volkswagen intends to sell at least 1 million electric cars per year and to become the market leader in e-mobility.

From the outside, the I.D. Vizzion is as large as a Passat, but it offers as much space in the interior as a Phaeton. The interior has the shape and materials of a lounge. Interaction is made possible through augmented reality, a HoloLens headset and an artificial intelligence system capable of both piloting the car autonomously and catering to the needs of passengers. The pure electric range of the model is up to 650km.

FIA – Formula E Gen2
FIA Formula E Gen2 represents the next chapter in the story of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. The unique electric series delivers thrilling competition and vital messages of electric mobility, and the new FIA-designed car has double the performance of the current model. The Gen2 will enable the teams and drivers to complete a full race at higher speeds, without making a mid-race car swap.

Hybrid cars

MITSUBISHI MOTORS – New Outlander PHEV 2019
The 2019 model year Outlander PHEV features a next generation system with both EV and SUV breakthroughs. The newest iteration unveiled in Geneva shows a complete redesign of its powertrain, with sharper dynamics, a more refined interior, and a subtle design evolution.

Compared to its predecessor, a 2.4 Atkinson cycle petrol engine replaces the previous regular Otto cycle 2.0 liter. It allows for higher torque, smoother operation, and overall higher efficiency. Generator, rear motor, and drive battery output have all been increased by 10%, whereas the drive battery capacity is increased by 15%.

The NORMAL and 4WD LOCK modes of previous models are joined by two additional driving modes. A SPORT mode gives the driver more direct control for greater driving enjoyment on winding roads. A SNOW mode provides greater confidence on snow-covered, or slippery surfaces.

TOYOTA – Auris
The third generation Auris features a more dynamic exterior design and, with a brand new 2.0 litre full hybrid powertrain joining the engine line-up, marks the debut of Toyota’s dual hybrid strategy. The new Auris will offer customers just one conventional engine -a 1.2 litre turbo petrol unit- and a choice of 122 hp, 1.8 litre or 180 hp, 2.0 litre hybrid powertrains.

The 1.8 litre system fulfils all the requirements that customers have come to expect from a Toyota full hybrid powertrain -silent, intuitive, responsive and self-sufficient EV technology with low cost of ownership, no need for plug-in recharging, offering outstanding fuel economy and low CO2 emissions, and up to 50% all-electric driving on the everyday commute.

The 2.0 litre system takes full advantage of the added ride comfort, stability, handling and driving enjoyment inherent in the newly adopted Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform. It will offer drivers an ‘energised drive’, with more power and steering wheel-mounted paddles for a more dynamic, engaging driving experience.

LEXUS – UX
The UX is the first-ever Lexus urban compact crossover. Unique thanks its bold design, stylish cockpit and new platform with low centre of gravity, the UX will be available as a self-charging hybrid vehicle, and with a conventional petrol powertrain. The UX has been engineered to deliver “elegant performance with peace of mind”. The foundation is the new global architecture platform named GA-C, used for the first time in a Lexus.

Two new powertrains make their debut: a new, fourth generation self-charging hybrid system with 178 DIN hp/131kW and the choice of front wheel drive or E-Four in the UX 250h; and a new 2.0-litre petrol engine with high thermal efficiency, available with a new Direct Shift continuously variable transmission in the UX 200. Suspension, steering and tyres have also all been developed to support Lexus’ dynamic and performance ambitions for the UX.

SKODA – Crossover Concept VISION X
The Czech car manufacturer is presenting an outlook on the further development of their model range with the hybrid study VISION X. With its compact proportions, the VISION X is presented as the ideal companion for an active, urban lifestyle.

In addition to the further developed SUV design language, it also features a newly configured hybrid system. The particularly sustainable drive concept with a CNG (Compressed Natural Gas)/electric engine combination ensures spontaneous power delivery, increased agility and low CO2 emissions of only 89 g/km.

The internal combustion engine is a 1.5-litre TSI G-TEC four-cylinder turbocharged engine specifically designed for use with CNG. The CNG drive produces a maximum output of 96 kW (130 hp) and a maximum torque of 250 Nm. One CNG tank is located under the rear seat; the second behind the rear axle.

The CNG unit drives the front axle; an electric motor drives the rear axle. This is activated as needed – to engage additional power when starting (boost effect) or to improve the traction on smooth surfaces and off-road. The capacity of the compact energy storage unit for the electric motor is sufficient to drive the concept study over a distance of up to two kilometres on electric power alone.

The model has a range of up to 650 kilometres thanks to the additional petrol reserve tank. The system performance of the two drive units enables the VISION X to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.3 seconds, with a top speed of 200 km/h.

BENTLEY MOTORS – Bentayga Hybrid
The Bentayga Hybrid represents Bentley’s first step towards full electrification, combining the serenity of silent motoring with exquisite comfort and effortless performance. Offering the best of both worlds, the new plug-in hybrid model combines an advanced electric motor with a powerful and efficient new-generation V6 petrol engine. The hybrid version of this luxurious SUV will be the company’s most efficient model ever with CO2 emissions of 75 g/km.

With an impressive electric range of over 50 km in the NEDC cycle, a full charge of the battery from a domestic household socket will take 7.5 hours. However, customers with an industrial connection installed at home can reduce the charge time to just 2.5 hours.

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